We are so blessed to live on this beautiful earth that God created!
Friday, September 25, 2020
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Another important "take away" from our studies in Psalm 8 is that we should teach our children (or grandchildren, or nieces or nephews....you get my drift!) to love, fear (reverence) and serve God as the only way to make our lives here on earth count.
So many young people today are especially troubled. They wonder if there is any real significance to their lives. They question what they are "here for." When we have a close relationship with Jesus Christ, our lives are not only important, they have eternal significance!
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:16-18)
The wonder and majesty of God's creation should inspire us to be good stewards of what He has made. Modern folks may worship the creation, and not the Creator, but we should not neglect the fact that we are stewards of the environment. We should be examples of how to balance the needs of mankind and the preservation of the environment.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
Although Ezekiel was given this message for the prophets who had fallen down on the job, these verses give us a good picture of our responsibilities to the animals and habitats of the earth:
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. (Ezekiel 34:2-5)
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
And lastly, make certain that we enjoy our Father God through His creation: get up from the couch and at least look out the window! If you are able, take a walk. Take a hike. Enjoy the wonders that He has made!
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
I'm hoping that we have had some good studies on this psalm. The most important indicator of that is how we can apply what we have learned to our everyday lives.
Have we learned some things from David's song?
Or have we been reminded of things we already know?
"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all." (I Chronicles 29:11, NASB)
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:3)
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (I Samuel 16:7)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Another lesson from Psalm 8: we must stand firmly against abortion. We cannot allow God's amazing and awe-inspiring creations to be treated as so much trash. A mere eighteen days from conception, just a bit more than two weeks, a baby's heartbeat can be heard on ultrasound. The only difference between that baby in the mother's womb and you and I, is time. We cannot continue to stand by as children are killed simply because they are inconvenient. Murdering these babies (because that IS what abortion is) is a horrific sin that we must confront.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13, 14)
Rescue those being led away to death,
If you say, “Behold, we did not know about this,”
does not He who weighs hearts consider it?
Does not the One who guards your life know?
Will He not repay a man according to his deeds? (Proverbs 24:11-12)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
That's different from most of the prayers that we pray for other people, no?
Monday, September 21, 2020
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (II Timothy 4:8)
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
You turn man back into dust
And say, “Return, O children of men.” (Psalm 90:3)
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. (Psalm 103:15)
Our earth is located within a solar system that includes a sun, other planets, and dozens of moons. All of this is within an outer spiral arm of the Milky Way, one of perhaps 100 billion galaxies in the universe. The Andromeda galaxy, which appears in our sky as a fuzzy, cigar-shaped "smudge" in the fall, is actually 2.5 million light years away. That may sound incredibly far away, but it makes Andromeda so close that we can see it in the night sky. What we can't see is the galaxy's "halo" around it, which actually is nudging against our own galaxy!
Compared to the vastness of the universe, as David says, what is mankind that God thinks of us, much less that He cares for us!
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)
Friday, September 18, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease. (v. 2)
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became indignant (Matthew 21:15)
From the mouths of children and infants You have ordained praise on account of Your adversaries, to silence the enemy and avenger. (v. 2, Berean Study Bible)
And how about this one:
You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. (v. 2, New Living Translation)
Oh my. I'm sure they "got" the implication, aren't you? To silence "enemies and all who oppose you." A not-so-subtle phrase for them to chew on.
So, the Lord displays His power and majesty, says our friend David, in seemingly weak infants and children. He overcomes His enemies by the marvel of their creation and their birth, and also silences them by the praise that they sing in their simple faith. I guess we could summarize his point by saying that we should worship the Lord in just the same way.
Lord, help us to praise You as we ought!